Catch and release fishing
Imagine a place where huge offshore fish roam close enough to land they can be caught standing on a bank.
Where 30-pound jack crevalle, 50-pound barracuda, large snook, monster goliath grouper and more live together in clean water that is virtually landlocked.
This place exists, and Victor Pike has reaped its fish catching benefits.
“From what I was told years ago it was being dredged and they hit aquifers,” Pike said. “From there it started to suck in all the bottom from the surrounding area and miles out. The depths go from 15 to 60 feet and there’s a complex series of caves. I’ve dove it and seen hundreds of goliaths. Some were well over 300 pounds!”
This haven is essentially an inshore saltwater sinkhole that has turned into a home for a variety of large fish in a confined area. It’s a mixture of salt and freshwater from the aquifer below and few know about its location.
Early last week, Pike was fishing with Ricky Fiedler in this secret spot. They freelined some monster ladyfish into the hole knowing the potential for a hungry goliath awaited. Pike hooked up, and Fiedler recorded video.
With Pike standing on the shore he put everything he had into his extra heavy conventional gear. His entire body leaned back as he squatted in a sitting pose, his weight against the monster on the other end. When the fish would turn slightly Pike would nearly fall backward, catching his balance as the fish began to pull again. Only a few feet in front of him was a dangerous and steep drop off into deep water.
“The fight was crazy because I was pulling it out of the caves,” Pike said. “It was a couple hundred pounds and insane to think about catching from shore.”
After about three minutes, the tug-of-war ended as Pike kept the Goliath away from its caved home. He pulled it up onto the bank’s edge where he noticed something interesting.
“Dude, that’s a stud,” someone is heard saying on a video of the catch. “Look at all the line in him.”
The anglers began to remove nearly half a dozen other hooks from the goliath’s mouth that had beaten anglers before, leaving a tangled mess. After clearing the hooks and getting some pictures, it was released.
In the week since it was posted, the video has amassed over 116,000 views on Facebook, being shared across multiple groups.